Archive for February, 2009

Half Empty or Half Full?

February 27, 2009 Leave a comment

Let’s face it, if you didn’t believe that things will eventually turn around in our economy; home prices will stabilize and begin to appreciate again, the stock market will start to go up and companies will start hiring again, you would be out on the ledge of a very tall building. Even the least optimistic of us believes or knows that there is a bottom to EVERY declining market, it’s just a matter of time. What types of things should we look for to indicate the bottom might be near?

I’m not economist, as a matter of fact I struggled to get a passing grade in Economics in college, but I do consider myself to be a little more than a casual observer of economic indexes and the like. It probably comes from the fact that I have a background in the mortgage industry and spent most of the past 10 years trying to determine where mortgage rates were headed. That said, I have noticed a plethora of really bad news lately and in my experience in life, it seems, to quote a famous cliché, “that it is always darkest before the dawn.” So here is my short list of recent dark statistic;

There are more dark stats but I thought these were some pretty good ones that are affecting most of us. So the bottom line is that you either believe this recession will continue to spiral out of control, ultimately surpassing the great depression, or you don’t. If you do believe that we are headed for another great depression, stop reading and start looking for a ledge. Make sure the ledge is high enough that the fall will kill you, the last thing the economy needs today is a bunch of people on disability income because they lost faith in the American dream. If however, you believe like me and most other Americans that things will turn around, consider the evidence I shared above as an indicator that the end is near and the recovery is in sight.

Again, I am clearly not an economist and my thoughts are based only on a lifetime of observing and a strong dose of optimism but the fact is, based on the numbers above, things can’t get a whole lot worse and with that in mind, I choose to see the glass as half full!

Oh, and by the way, if you are sitting on a pile of cash waiting for things to turn around, get off your ass and make it happen! Just a thought.


Number of Americans Receiving Unemployment Tops 5 Million

February 27, 2009 Leave a comment

Talk about a sign of the times. For the first time since record-keeping began in 1967, the number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits topped 5 million.  The number of first time claims also hit record high levels as 667,000 people applied for relief last week.  It’s kind of scary as more people lose their jobs, even fewer people are spending money, which affects the bottom line for retailers, distribution, manufacturing, etc. and lends itself to another round of layoffs so the cycle begins again.  This can’t go on forever, though it may seem like it for some families.

With his $787 billion stimulus package, President Obama claims he will save the day.  I watched his speech on Tuesday night and he seemed quite confident.  I really believe he will do anything necessary to get us out of this mess.  I’m not sure what the implications will be for our children but at least we can all get back to work.

In the midst of all this gloom and doom, companies are still hiring people and people are still buying homes so maybe it’s not the end of the world after all.  Follow me on Twitter, thejobsguy, and I will continue to alert you to open jobs all over the county everyday!  We’ll get through this!

Social Media – Friend or Foe of the Job Seeker?

February 11, 2009 2 comments

The buzz around using social media to find a job or find a candidate is starting to become very loud.  Frankly, if you are a recruiter and you haven’t started using social media sites like LinkedIn, FaceBook and Twitter to find and stay in touch with prospective candidates,  you are already behind.  Remember the Internet moves at the speed of the Internet and that’s pretty fast.  Things that seem important and relevant one day can be passe’ the next.  Take blogging for instance,  at one point there was more pressure on everyone to have a blog than we could stand.  Many of us caved in, with some of us finding  it useful, some finding it social and fun, and many finding it a complete waste of time.

Blogging has recently been displaced by micro-blogging through tools like Twitter that only allow a 140 character post.  Originally designed to help friends keep tabs on each other, Twitter has quickly displaced the blog as the tool of choice for anyone wanting to build a large audience of like minded people and stay in touch with them, and this brings us to the point of this blog post. (yes I am still blogging)  Are these various social media tools a friend or foe to the job seeker?

For those of you with Facebook and MySpace pages, know this, most good recruiters are now searching the Internet for people they are considering.  They can do this in a number of ways like simply typing your name into Google, Facebook, MySpace, YouTube or other social media tools.  If you haven’t typed your own name into Google lately I highly recommend you try it and see what comes up.  For most people not much comes up when recruiters dig on the Internet and usually very little comes up that might affect a recruiters decision one way or the other.  But as Michael Phelps will tell you, having a picture of yourself taking a hit off a bong on your MySpace page or any of your friends pages who may have tagged you is probably not a good idea if you are looking for a professional position.  It’s a real bummer for the free spirits of the world who just now became aware of the fact that “The Man” actually has something to say about how much freedom they exhibit on the Internet.

So here is the bottom line for both job seekers and people in corporate America,  check out where and how you show up on the Internet.  If you find things that are not flattering or that may affect whether or not you get the job or promotion you are gunning for, find a way to remove it or take it down.

Going forward, you may want to seriously consider having two identities on the Internet, one  for your friends that makes no mention of your name and probably doesn’t contain any photos or mention of you doing drugs or engaging in sex acts ( I can’t believe I have to mention this but you would be surprised at what I have seen lately) and the other identity, which may include your name (i.e on LinkedIn) which you would share with recruiters or job seekers in an effort to acquire and maintain an on-line business relationship with people who can help you.

Oh ya, and in case you hadn’t noticed, I logged this post at about 1:45a.m. CST.  Who’s got time to manage their blog during working hours!

Free Webinar – Best Buy’s Career Site 2.0

February 5, 2009 Leave a comment

Best Buy’s Career Site 2.0
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM EST
Presented by Tim Kutzer, Manager Talent Acquisition, Best Buy Co., Inc. and Joshua Kahn, Sr. Pipeline Generation Expert, Accenture, Best Buy Co., Inc

Much discussion in strategic recruitment has centered around “Web 2.0” and employers’ main candidate interface: the career website. Many recruiting experts have also become internet strategists, and in the process, learned valuable lessons both about how job seekers want to interact with employers, and successful online tactics.

Best Buy is one of those organizations that wanted to have their career site become “Web 2.0 compatible”, and recently launched their new web 2.0 career site. Learn about what this means, along with the benefits that Best Buy has gained by upgrading their career site.

Register for Webinar

Unemployment Claims Hit 26 Year High – So What?

February 5, 2009 2 comments

It never ceases to amaze me how the media always see the glass half empty.  Headline after headline lately telling us of company after company laying off workers.  But if you dig in a little, in most cases two things hold true, one, the number of people being laid off in most of these companies is minuscule compared to their total work force and two, most of these companies also have jobs they are currently recruiting for on their career sites.

The trick for job seekers is to know where to look and one place not to be looking during these lean times is the big job boards like Monster, Career Builder and others.  The reason is that most companies have seen their recruiting budgets cut so they are posting fewer jobs on the big boards and also, with the media reminding us everyday of how many people are out looking for work, companies with a strong employment brand are seeing more traffic coming to their corporate career sites through search engines like Google,  job aggregators like Careerjet and through connecting with recruiters on the social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

It’s true, times are tough but don’t despair, change your job search stragtegy to include the new media/tools  I mentioned above and know that when the noise from the media gets really loud, that’s usually a sign that things are about to change for the better.

The Future of Sourcing With Lou Adler

February 3, 2009 Leave a comment

Check out this webinar with Lou Adler and Doug Berg on Sourcing and how to use some of today’s recruitment marketing tools like a talent community to find and place quality candidates.

Using Twitter as a Recruiting Tool

February 2, 2009 1 comment

In speaking with recruiters on a daily basis, I’m often asked about Twitter. What is it? How does it work? How can it help me as a recruiter? etc. In my opinion Twitter is a fantastic recruiting tool and also a great tool for people who are looking for a job.

If I were a recruiter I would have a link in my email signature that encourages job seekers to “follow me on Twitter“. Then I would offer to alert them every time I find out about a job opening. I would also tweet links to relevant information, articles, blog posts, events, etc. to help my followers with their job search. The bottom line is that if I keep providing value to my tweeple, I may ultimately make a great hire whether it is a job seeker who is following me or one of their friends who they shared my info with. Doug Berg of Jobs2web created a great video to further explain how recruiters can use Twitter in their recruiting.

If I were a job seeker I would find and follow as many recruiters as possible on Twitter.  I think I’ll have a much better chance of connecting with a recruiter by responding to their tweet than by submitting my resume to Monster or Career Builder and waiting for someone to call me.  Jason Buss of The Talent Buzz mentioned a great site to help people find recruiters, TweepSearch.  He pointed out that you can find 350 HR professionals and 900 recruiters on Twitter using tweepsearch.

There are a lot of great tools out there to help job seekers and recruiters connect.  If you are not using Twitter you are missing out.